With 16 lead changes and 12 ties, Pierce 8-11 and 4-4 in league play hold off number two Lower Columbia (6-2, 13-7) 60-58 snapping the Red Devil’s six game winning streak. Seemingly poor shooting from the field at 26-percent on the night (18-for-69) the Raiders were able to withhold the Red Devils of Lower Columbia with tenacious defense maintaining their façade as the top defensive team in the NWAACC. The Raiders forced 30 Red Devil turnovers equating to 19 points in favor of the Raiders.
Pierce applied constant full-court pressure from tip-off to the end of the game. This proved to be too much for Lower Columbia. Pierce showed just how dangerous they were exploiting the Red Devils lack of speed and ball handling. Despite inconsistent offense, Pierce poses a threat to even the best of teams playing defense like this.
This defensive surge was led by sophomore Carli Elwin (SO. Bonney Lake, WA). The Raiders are averaging almost 20 steals a game and boast three of the top four steal leaders on their roster. Elwin is number one in steals for the entire NWAACC amassing 93 steals on the season. This is 25 more than any other opponent. Meanwhile Alyssa Simonson (FR Covington, WA) is in a close second with 89 and Kawehi Hagi (SO Kapolei, HI) has 63 despite missing three games due to injury. With 8 games left in regular season Elwin is only 11 steals off from last year’s pre-season/regular season record of 114 set by Pierce guard, Natasha Trinidad.
Elwin led the way for the Raiders with 18 points but shot just 5-for-17 from the field and 7-for-11 from the charity stripe missing three crucial free-throws in the last two minutes of the game. Elwin also had six steals further solidifying her spot as number one in steals for the NWAACC. Simonson iced another double-double on the year with 14-points and 10 rebounds.
Also in double digits for the Raiders was Mackenzie Lancaster (FR. Puyallup, WA). Lancaster had 14-points and four steals on the night. This was a big win for the Lady Raiders as the stay in the playoff hunt for the Western Region. Pierce will travel to Grays Harbor on Wednesday January 30, 2013 for another must win game. Tip-off is slated for 6:00 pm and will return home to take on cross town rival, Tacoma at the HEC on February 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm.